March 18, 2022
SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgarian police have arrested former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov as part of an investigation into alleged blackmail dating back to 2014-2019, prosecutors said on Friday.
The 62-year-old Borissov’s reign ended last spring when he lost an election that angered the public over high-level corruption in the poorest member states of the European Union. He remains the leader of the center-right party GERB, the largest opposition party.
A new central government coalition took office in December, promising no tolerance for a transplant in Bulgaria, which is classified as the most corrupt EU member state by Transparency International.
Former Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov and GERB media adviser Sevdalina Arnaudova were also detained late Thursday for 24 hours, prosecutors said in a statement.
Sofia prosecutors will later Friday decide whether to extend Borissov’s detention for 72 hours or release him, after reviewing the investigation, they said.
The GERB party has rejected the arrests, described them as political repression and called for early elections. Hundreds of GERB activists protested for hours in front of the government building.
Borissov has repeatedly denied wrongdoing over allegations of transplantation in the last decade.
Prime Minister Kiril Petkov welcomed the investigation and said police had shown that no one had started the law.
“Only without fear of the untouchables can Bulgaria truly change,” Petkov said.
($ 1 = 1.7762 leva)
(Reports by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
Police arrest former Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov in a blackmail investigation
Source link Police arrest former Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov in a blackmail investigation